According to American intelligence estimates, there are less than 1,000 ISIS militants left in Syria and Iraq – down from 45,000 just two years ago.
This announcement comes about a month after both Iraq and Syria declared ISIS defeated.
The terrorist group controls just 2% of the land it once held, with remaining strongholds concentrated in a small area along the Syria-Iraq border. At its peak, ISIS controlled an area about the size of Ohio.
Much of the Islamic State’s dramatic decline occurred under Trump’s watch. While we can’t give him all the credit, his leadership has certainly played a role.
“What the Trump Administration did was allow execution decisions to be made in accordance with the guidance that he provided. We could have accomplished our objectives through the use of overwhelming power in three months, not three years,” says Lt. Gen. David Deptula, former head of US Air Force intelligence.
Compare this to the Obama Administration, where progress was inhibited by micromanagement and tedious rules.
“The rules of engagement under the Obama Administration were onerous. I mean what are we doing having individual target determination being conducted in the White House, which in some cases adds weeks and weeks,” explains Deptula, adding that Obama-era limitations actually resulted in a greater number of civilian casualties.
Another reason the war dragged on for so long was the Obama Administration’s refusal to attack ISIS-controlled oil supplies for fear of causing collateral damage – a decision that provided ISIS with $800 million in revenue.
This news about ISIS is great, but the US has been quick to caution the rest of the world not to expect a complete defeat anytime soon.
“While ISIS has been largely defeated, it continues to call on followers around the world to conduct terror attacks during the holidays,” reports Fox News.
At least five people were killed on Christmas day when a suicide bomber blew himself up near an intelligence agency compound in Kabul, Afghanistan.